Outside the supermarket the same beggar sits in the same place every day, He peddles wooden spoons and brooms, but I never buy anything. I wonder how this life can be any better than the life he has left in Romania. Has he brought his wife? Does his children go to school?
I meet his gaze, smile and say hello, hoping for a day when he can go home.
against the wind
an old scarecrow crouches —
two squirrels bicker
When I get home I prepare a slow cooked chili. I spice with cumin, oregano and chipotle. I add a little dark chocolate and tomato paste and stir it with our old wooden spoon. Did I say I said hello when I met his gaze?
Today Xenia Tran guest hosts for our haibun Monday at dVerse, and she wants us to write about compassion without mention it as a word.
May 14, 2018
So sensitive. I think we can all relate to your feelings, ponderings, as you stir that (yummy-sounding) chili.
I cooked it for eight hours….. and yes it was very very good (but not very hot)
A beautiful haibun Bjorn, I love how you revisit the moment of meeting the beggar’s gaze while you are preparing a meal at home :o)
Nice description of the beggar longing for the day to go home.
Life is hard for some people.
I love your words and your image. How perfect!
This is great – I love the pondering thoughts about the man selling spoons and brooms.
I like the way you filled the space between seeing the beggar and remembering him with the haiku – it fills the space well, Bjorn.
Well, you know, a lot of people actively avoid the gaze of people who “might want something”. I’m glad you gave this man your attention.
Interesting use of imagery to describe your begger! The desire for a better life is instilled in all of us.
A subtle and evocative haibun, Bjorn! Sometimes the simplest humanity of our attention makes the difference.
This is quite tender in its delivery. It’s good to wish others the best.
I like where you inserted the haiku. It made the whole poem feel like a long thought.
I am glad you broke the haibun with the haiku. It brought the two paragraphs together in a way that at the end would not have done. It is almost surreal your fixing dinner in your home while the beggar sits outside the grocery. I would probably have a dozen brooms home, bought from him.
Kinds to strangers cannot be overlooked. Loved the intimacy of the poem.
Compassion misses so many opportunities! When remembered, we must be compassionate to our self. Perhaps in the memory is God’s compassion toward us, lovely haibun!
And here, he thinks that a simple hello is compassion. It is, but …well, it’s an awfully hollow compassion. Perhaps it would have more meaning had he purchased a wooden spoon to use for his chili. Or, maybe taken a few moments to ask how his family was faring. Great story, makes you think about your everyday actions. A simple hello can go so far, yet often falls short.
Yes it might seem so… but then as long as you keep giving they will leave their home and sit there… so compassion is very double edged in keeping them locked in.
That’s so true. When people mention beggars, they think it’s a get-rich scam. Not the ones I’ve seen, good word fella. Don’t put too many peppers in that chili
A very subtle one…loved the haiku!
This is very powerful. I was struck by the number of beggars from eastern Europe and the Middle East when I was in Europe. We don’t see that over here in Australia. Like you I would smile but always felt I didn’t do enough. There was one particular woman beggar I saw in Belgium that still haunts me. She was Muslim and had a little child with her. I was so stunned to see her I didn’t give her any money. Now I wish I had.
interesting one. We have a lot of homeless in AZ during the winter because days are not so cold here although nights are — but usually they leave for cooler climates as it gets hot very much like the well-to-do snowbirds who come down from the icy states for the winter. I don’t see them though so I don’t know where the homeless hangout. It’s a tough life.
PS. thanks for visiting and commenting on my sis LuckyHiro’s poem on Wilds of Idaho. I appreciate it and so will she when she reads it later today.
I can sense the compassion and also the second guessing and not knowing what to do.
The chili sounds good, thought I do like it hot.
An interesting format for your haibun – that gap between action and remembering that action, that space for reflection.